UK nationals residing in EU cannot vote or stand in native elections, says prime courtroom
British nationals residing in European Union member states are not allowed to vote or stand in native and municipal elections, the bloc’s prime courtroom dominated on Thursday.
The case was delivered to the European Court docket of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg by “EP”, a British nationwide married to a French citizen and who has been residing in France since 1984.
EP by no means utilized for French citizenship and realised within the lead-up to the March 2020 municipal elections — held six weeks after the Withdrawal Settlement establishing the phrases of the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU got here into pressure — that she had been taken off the electoral roll.
She filed an software to be re-registered on the French electoral roll in October of the identical yr however was swiftly denied by the mayor of the municipality in Thoux, southwestern France.
EP then took the matter to courtroom asserting that it meant she was not capable of vote or stand in for native elections anyplace as British nationals who’ve resided overseas for greater than 15 years are not allowed to take part in UK elections.
The ECJ, to whom the courtroom was referred, dominated that because the Withdrawal Settlement got here into pressure on 1 February 2020, British nationals “not benefit from the standing of citizen of the Union, nor, extra particularly the proper to vote and to face as a candidate in municipal elections of their Member State of residence, together with the place they’re additionally disadvantaged, by advantage of the legislation of the State of which they’re nationals, of the proper to vote in elections held by that State.”
It famous that solely citizenship of an EU member state confers the proper to vote or stand in an election.
The ECJ added that nationals of a 3rd nation that was once a member state (who subsequently used to have an EU citizenship) weren’t capable of retain that standing even when they transferred their residence to a different member state.
Within the case of Brexit, this is applicable to individuals who transferred their residence to an EU member state earlier than the top of the transition interval.
“That is an automated consequence of the only sovereign determination taken by the UK to withdraw from the European Union,” the ECJ stated in a press assertion.